Move over, laminate. While color body porcelain tile is one of the most durable flooring options on the market today, it has also become one of the most stylish and sophisticated offerings. New technology allows tile manufacturers to mimic just about any material, from silk to slate.
The Calabria collection from Ragno USA, for example, uses 3-D digital print technology to create glazed porcelain tile that features clefting of natural slate, while Crossville’s Wood Impressions collection combines the look of wood with the durability of tile.
Properties owned by Detroit-based Pied a Terre are outfitted with tile from a variety of manufacturers. In its hometown, the multifamily owner installed black tile from Dal-Tile Corp. in the kitchens and bathrooms of The Beethoven to complement the hardwood floors throughout the 30 apartment units. The black tile looks and feels like sandstone but doesn’t carry the high price tag.
“We are long-term owners, and we choose materials based on durability and quality,” says president Scott Lowell. “We have installed other types of flooring like slate and stone, but we like porcelain tile. Over the years, we’ve had good luck with it, with just a handful of repairs and no need for replacements.”
Stain Resistant: Dal-Tile Corp.s new OutStand Technology is a patent-pending glaze technique that promises to offer both unparalleled surface wear and stain resistance while infusing the tile with Microban, which offers a permanent layer of protection from stain- and odor-causing bacteria. OutStand Technology is available in two new collections: Colour Scheme and Urban Tones. For more information, call Dal-Tile Corp. at 214-398-1411 or visit www.daltile.com.
Simulated Slate: The Calabria collection from Ragno USA showcases the shading and clefting of natural slate in large-format, glazed porcelain stoneware. Using 3-D digital print technology, Ragno is able to create a tile with three-dimensional textures and crevices and rich color combinations that mimic slate. Large square and rectangular sizes pair with two distinctive mosaics to expand design options. For more information, call Ragno USA at 888-297-2466 or visit www.ragnousa.com.
Elegant Indigo: Florim USA has added a new color and size to its popular W-Slate color body porcelain line. With the new color Indigo, the line now offers three colors including dark and light. The tile also is now available in 3-inch by 6-inch bricks, in addition to several other sizes, in all three colors. For more information, call Florim USA at 877-356-7461 or visit www.florimusa.com.
Realistic Images: The LegendHDP series by Florida Tile is high definition porcelain that uses an advanced glazing system to create the most realistic image possible on tile. Using a digital printing process pioneered in inkjet printers, the glaze is sprayed on to allow for the creation of low-relief patterns, handmade effects, fabric looks, and mosaics. For more information, call Florida Tile at 800-352-8453 or visit www.floridatile.com.
Mock Wood: Crossville puts its own twist on the traditional appeal of wood with the introduction of Wood Impressions, which combines the look of wood with the durability of tile. The series offers four plank shapes including a 36-inch plank created on a new tile press. Wood Impressions is available in six wood-inspired hues. For more information, call Crossville at 800-221-9093 or visit www.crossvilleinc.com.
Smooth as Silk: Seta, a through-body porcelain tile series from Emser Tile, is inspired by silk. This series uses fine lines to create the illusion of a supple fabric, and it can be used on floors or walls. An array of colors and sizes is available including 12-inch by 24-inch—a size often favored for contemporary installations. Seta is appropriate for use in kitchens and bathrooms, as well as commercial common areas. For more information, call Emser Tile at 323-650-2000 or visit www.emser.com.